AUTOS: Clash of the Compacts

For six hours one day last week, the roar of auto engines echoed against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains as 23 cars gunned and slid around the $500,000 Continental Divide Raceways near Denver. The competition on the twisty, 2.8-mile circuit was the first endurance race to see how well Detroit's new compact cars stack up against their competition both at home and from abroad.

Under the rules only hardtop sedans and coupes with engines no bigger than 3,500 cc. could enter, and all V-8s were excluded. Lined up at the start in ten classes...

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